Roberto Abraham Scaruffi: May 2010

Monday, 31 May 2010

German President Horst Koehler says he is resigning, following criticism of remarks he made about German military missions.
Israeli PM 'regrets' ship deaths
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu expresses regret after at least nine people die as troops storm aid ships trying to reach Gaza.

Tutti i Video
Ecco il video della protesta delle maestranze alla Scala 

GalleryMary Carbone: “I miei calciatori preferiti? Da piccola ero innamorata di Alessio Tacchinardi. Oggi mi piace Giorgio Chiellini”
Weekly Report from Taiwan Security Research (May 30, 2010)
For full text, click on the title or visit the TSR web page at
Tension over Korean Peninsula On North Korea, China Prefers Fence By Sharon LaFraniere(New York Times, May 24, 2010) In the best of times, Chinese foreign affairs scholars here say, Beijing grits its teeth while playing best friend to Kim Jong-il, North Korea’s ailing and erratic 68-year-old leader. All Eyes on China in Wake of Cheonan Sinking By Jesse Karotkin (China Brief 10(11), Jamestown Foundation, May 27, 2010) China’s longstanding relationship with North Korea has come under greater international scrutiny since the March 26 sinking of the 1300-ton South Korean corvette Cheonan near the de facto maritime boundary between North and South Korea. China Toughens Stance toward North Korea, but Doesn’t Back Sanctions By Blaine Harden (Washington Post, May 29, 2010) China toughened its position toward North Korea but fell short of the support for a U.N. Security Council rebuke that South Korean leaders had hoped for during Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's high-profile visit.
The Cheonan Attack: Torpedoing Chance of Peace? By Scott Snyder (YaleGlobal, May 27, 2010) How China decides to handle the Cheonan will go a long way toward determining whether the sinking marks a turning point or reflects continued business-as-usual on the Korean peninsula. In the Koreas, Five Possible Ways to War By David E. Sanger(New York Times, May 30, 2010) The dynamic does feel different from recent crises. The South has a hardline government whose first instinct was to cut off aid to the North, not offer it new bribes. At the same time, the North is going through a murky, ill-understood succession crisis. So what if this time is different?

Second Annual Sino-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogue Geithener Seeks Fair China Trade
(Wall Street Journal, May 24, 2010) U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Monday urged China to create a more open and fair trade policy, calling for Beijing to develop a "level playing field" for foreign investments, including for U.S. businesses. China to Continue to Steadily Advance Reform Related to RMB Exchange Rate (Xinhua, May 24, 2010) Chinese President Hu Jintao reiterated that China will continue to steadily advance the reform of the formation mechanism of the RMB exchange rate under the principle of independent decision-making, controllability and gradual progress. Clinton and Geithner Face Hurdles in China Talks By Mark Landler(New York Times, May 25, 2010) China and the United States opened three days of high-level meetings meant to broaden and deepen the ties between the world’s largest developed and developing economies. U.S.-China Talks End without Accords on Key Issues By John Pomfret (Washington Post, May 26, 2010) Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner wrapped up extensive talks with Chinese officials without any significant progress on Iran, North Korea or other key issues dividing the countries.

Cross-Strait Issues ECFA Signing Will Not Be Rushed, Vice Minister Says
(CNA, May 28, 2010) The government will not rush to sign an economic cooperation framework agreement with China although it is still aiming to conclude the pact by the end of June, Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Lin Sheng-chung said. Gov’t Denies China ‘Track Two’ Link
(CNA, May 29, 2010) The former top national security adviser to President Ma Ying-jeou denied media reports that a communication platform with Beijing separate from the main existing channel will be established under his leadership.

U.S. National Security Strategy
New U.S. Strategy Focuses on Managing Threats By David E. Sanger and Peter Baker (New York Times, May 27, 2010) President Obama’s first formal national security strategy describes a coming era in which the United States will have to learn to live within its limits. Obama’s National Security Strategy: A Little George Bush, Lots of Bill Clinton By Samuel R. Berger (Washington Post, May 30, 2010) President Obama's national security strategy tackles a delicate but unavoidable question: How do we respond to security challenges in an era of financial distress at home and reordering of political power abroad?

PLA and Military Balance
Taiwan Issue Spurs China to Build Up Missile Forces By Bill Gertz(Washington Times, May 24, 2010) China's rapid development of ballistic and cruise missile forces is altering the balance of power in Asia and threatens U.S. forces in a conflict over Taiwan and beyond, according to a forthcoming report by Project 2049 Institute.
China Still a Threat: Yang
(Taipei Times, May 27, 2010) Deputy Minister of National Defense Andrew Yang told a Washington symposium that although President Ma Ying-jeou’s administration was doing everything in its power to maintain peace, it still considered China a “major threat.” Operational Changes in Taiwan’s Han Kuang Military Exercises 2008-2010 By Fu S. Mei (China Brief 10(11), Jamestown Foundation, May 27, 2010) The annual exercises (HK-24 to HK-26) have since begun to reflect many of the themes in Ma’s defense policy platform, which calls for increased emphasis on passive protection measures and ground defense, rather than the more (air and naval-focused) active defense strategy favored by previous administrations.
Security Lax at Super-secret Base
(Taipei Times, May 26, 2010) Defense News and Kyodo news agency reported that security at a key signals intelligence facility in northern Taiwan was so lax that neighboring cows were observed walking freely around the base.
Taiwan's Domestic Issues and Foreign Relations
Survey on President Ma Ying-jeou’s Performance for His Two Year Anniversary in Office, Democratic Progressiv Party’s China Policy and the Future Cross-Strait Relations
(GVSRC, May 25, 2010) President Ma and his administration received 55.1 on a 0-100 point scale. Meanwhile, 53 percent of people said the exchanges between DPP and mainland China would advance Taiwan’s interests.
Jobless Rate Sees Biggest Fall in 15 Years to 5.39% in April
(China Post, May 25, 2010) Taiwan's jobless rate posted a decline of 0.28 of a percentage point from March to reach 5.39 percent in April, representing the largest single-month drop of its kind in 15 years.
Tsai to Run for Xinbei Mayor
(China Post, May 24, 2010) Tsai Ing-wen announced her decision to run for the Xinbei City mayoral election, shortly after winning reelection as the Democratic Progressive Party chairwoman by a landslide against challenger You Ching. Tsai Blasted for R.O.C. Legitimacy Remark
(China Post, May 27, 2010) Officials leapt to the defense of the country against opposition leader Tsai Ing-wen's claim that the “Republic of China” is a “government in exile.” Taiwan Announces Haiti Debt Relief Plan
(CNA, May 28, 2010) Taiwan will pay about US$12-13 million in interest on loans to Haiti and the quake-ravaged country will not have to make any payments on the principal for five years, Taiwan's foreign minister said.
China's Rise and Domestic Issues
Chinese Economy Treads Risky Path. (Ask Japan.) By Michael Wines (New York Times, May 26, 2010) As outsiders behold China’s transformation from peasant nation to economic colossus, the risks of extrapolating from China’s robust present into an indeterminate future are not to be ignored. Unrest May Signal New Phase in China Economy By Keith Bradsher(New York Times, May 30, 2010) Rapidly rising industrial wages are beginning to allow China’s workers to share in their country’s rising prosperity. The question is whether these gains can be maintained and even increased.

Japan Policy
Japan Relents on U.S. Base on Okinawa By Martin Fackler
(New York Times, May 24, 2010) Reneging on a prominent campaign promise, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama told outraged residents of Okinawa that an American air base would be moved only to the north side of the island rather than off the island.
U.S. and Japan Reach Okinawa Deal
(New York Times, May 28, 2010) Japan and the United States issued a statement saying an American air base on Okinawa would be relocated to a new site on the island, moving to officially end a dispute between the allies.
Japan’s Air Defense Identification Zone Request Confirmed
(CNA, May 27, 2010) MOFA has been notified by Japan about a request to re-draw the Air Defense Identification Zone over Japan's Yonaguni lsland just to the east of Taiwan. Japan Air Plan ‘Unacceptable’: MOFA
(Taipei Times, May 30, 2010) A plan proposed by Japan to move its Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) westward, overlapping parts of Taiwan’s own ADIZ, is “unacceptable,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.